PEARLINGTON, MS (WLOX) - Copper thieves have struck again, this time at an unlikely place. The parsonage at First Southern Baptist Church in the Pearlington Community was stripped of its copper pipes and wires this week.
When the church youth group leader went to turn on the lights at the parsonage Wednesday night for a weekly meeting, nothing happened.
"They cut all of the electrical wires in the breaker box and they went outside and cut all of those electrical wires.. and then they took and cut the air conditioning copper wire out and stripped it out," church deacon Chandler Reynolds said.
He said the copper thieves got into the house by using an old chair and an upside down garbage can to climb up to the attic vent.
"They went through and dropped the stairs down inside of the house there and went into the house."
According to Reynolds, the church pastor hasn't lived in the house since Hurricane Katrina. Instead, the home has housed volunteers helping the community rebuild.
The damage could top $5,000.
"If I was going to steal, I wouldn't steal from God," Reynolds said. "He can get even in a lot of ways."
While God might have endless ways to find and punish the culprits, sheriff's investigators have few. They say finding copper thieves is next to impossible.
"There are no serial numbers on the copper," Investigator John Luther explained. "Typically, if it's copper wire, that wire has either been burned off or it has been stripped. There is no way that we can identify that copper to a particular theft."
The thieves focused only on copper, ignoring a TV, appliances and other furnishings.
"Why they didn't take anything else, I don't know," Reynolds said.
The church deacon is sure of one thing though.
"You're never going to get ahead stealing someone else's property. I don't care whose it is."
News of the church copper theft generated a lot of interest on our Facebook page. Bennie wrote, "If greed were against the law, it would immediately be a better world."
And Jeanie commented, "I hope they fry. But God is forgiving, so maybe he will make them work hard to repair the whole place when caught."
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